A friendly dolphin spotted off the Kinsale coast over the last few days is not Fungie, marine biologists have said.
The Ocean Research and Conservation Association (OCRA) say they have analysed the markings on the dolphin using special imaging technology, and have concluded that Fungie hasn’t controversially relocated from Kerry to Cork.
Observers thought they might have found the missing bottlenose when a solitary dolphin was seen following a boat some 48km south of the Old Head of Kinsale – behaviour similar to what made Fungie so famous.
More reports coming in of the bottlenose dolphin observed off Kinsale, Co. Cork! We will use this to build a profile on the dolphins behaviour and ID. Seen here following Jaspers boat! #FindFungie #ObserversApp @ORCA_Ireland pic.twitter.com/u280c0OlTa— Observers App (@ObserversApp) April 12, 2021
However, using images and stills from the video of the dolphin seen off the Cork coast, OCRA was able to show that this dolphin bears individual distinctive markings on its dorsal fin.
Fungie had no such markings on his fin.
Fungie also bore dark grey colouring underneath his eye, whereas the Kinsale dolphin has light, white colourings.
(2/🐬) We have analysed the most recent report to the @ObserversApp by Jasper and extracted dorsal fin ID images, albeit also not very clear, and can see this individual has distinctive markings unlike #Fungie. We can see a match between Mike and Jaspers reports! #PhotoID pic.twitter.com/Hp6QX5QHiM— ORCAIreland (@ORCA_Ireland) April 12, 2021
The famous Dingle dolphin has been missing from the Kingdom for roughly six months, leaving his fans to speculate as to his whereabouts.
OCRA researchers are doing their part to find out what became of Fungie. They are asking people to download their observers app wherein videos and images of any dolphins sightings can be logged, catalogued and shared using the hashtag #FindFungie.
In the meantime, the group has set up a Twitter poll to find a name for the playful Kinsale porpoise.
Two names are currently in a dead-heat with 35.7% of the vote – Finn and Rebel.